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The Ogden standard-examiner. [volume] (Ogden, Utah) 1920-current, July 02, 1922, The Standard-Examiner Sunday Feature Section, Image 30

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Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85058393/1922-07-02/ed-1/seq-30/

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1 I
sx x during the war as a
- ipk 9k How the Beautiful Parisian Actress Risked M
I I X Bl Not Only Her Life, but Honor and All a I
! I f JP Woman Holds Dearest, to Win Freedom for Br ( S I
P I I JV Her Sweetheart and to Save Her Kjk I
- o Jj I
TT IS for Franco!"
The eyes of the soldierly old
j figure in horizon hlue flashed
! fcitii the exultation of the appeal. The
Veteran officer rose as he made it and
I Itood for a moment framed against the
b-i'-olor that hung behind his desk. Un-
Consciously his right hand came to the
hlutc as if he stood in the very presence
of lii? beloed country.
i "For France," he repeated. "And you
llone may serve !"
It was such a dramatic situation as
Is the r ry breath of life to tho French,
Iks inspired them to the most heroic
deeds of gallantry and sacrifice when the
Germans drove on Pans and Verdun,
jpuch an impassioned clarion call as had
ronie from lips of the old colonel had
J lent whole regiments, whole army corps
M Cheering into battle and to a forlorn
i ope.
5 But though his solitary auditor rose
wlrith him, breathing quickened, cheeks
Hushed and an answering light in eyes,
J there came no immediate response. The
Jjpoman hesitated.
She was beautiful and typically Pari-
aienne from the top of her chic hat to
fche tips of her shapely feet, and she was
If love with life. The task she was
Called upon to undertake was hazardous,
mfcore fraught with peril than the poilu's
midnight raid or climb over the parapet
sgSfor tho rharge.
She had been asked to penetrate in
adhisguise the lines of the enemy and
3 leek information. And well she knew
that on such a mission a charming woman
risks something oven dearer than life
a Itself her womanly honor and good
; pame.
I So she hesitated. She sank to her
J pair trembling, her limpid eyes down
caet The colonel considered a moment.
Iffce in the ways of the hearts of women,
lie spoke again
I "There is," he said, "in one of the
jlrison camps of Spain and none too
bleasant a place it is a Frenchman of
I Be name of Maurice Chevalier."
I He paused. A wave of color flooded
he face of the woman.
I "When the mission I ask of you it
Accomplished, the colonel continued.
'all the influence of the government
all be brought to bear upon the King
1 If Spain, so that this man shall surely
1 be released and returned to his country "
j The woman no longer hesitated, but
)ffered herself as a sacrifice for love
ind Cor Fran. .
HI It was such a stirring incident as that
"Must narrate! which took place one wur
black duv m !'.iic, one of the unsung
4 bics of the great conflict, which Devi c
Jl8 heard until the other day when its
heroin, uas revealed with the announce
pent. tha, ;i im,Venient was under way
j j obtain the award of the Legion of
Monor for pretty Mile. Mistinguett, star
ftf tlie music halls
W " ' hat a thrill their
ry mention bring 1 What hints of
fctngrues, of light flirtation which are
P reality toying with a gmly death, of
03 a spy 111 inc. sci vivc ui ucm
last ended by her capture and
by the French
acting more consummate than ever has
been 6een on the stage, for life itself
depends on it Shadowy tales which
tell of the pitting of woman's wit against
the enemy's might, of the "tossing of life
and virtue in the scales for the sake of
patriotism, love or gold.
Women spies who risk their all on the
knowledge that all men, in the heat of
the passions of war, are not always like
the old cavalier poet who could not lovo
his lady half so much "loved he not
honor more."
Mile. Mistinguett, whose real name Is
Jeanne Bourgeois, long has been a fa
vorite of the Paris stage. She is famed
for her dancing, her singing and her
character acting, and it has been boasted
that her legs are the most shapely in
all France if not in the whole world.
She was dancing at the Olympia when
the Germans were only sixty miles from
Paris and became the idol of the city
when she refused to be frightened away.
But the real test of her courage came
later. How this beauty of the blue oyea
played the spy and became an Important
link in the chain of the French espio
nage system was partially told recently
in the newspaper, "Liberte," by Com
mandant Massard, who has been the
source of some of the other fascinating
spy stories of the war, notably that of
the German agent, Mata Hari.
In 1916 it came to be of vital neces
sity that something should be learned
of the plans of the enemy. The infor
mation wanted was of a kind that could
be obtained only from a source too
high to be reached by the ordinary spy.
Who better for the purpose than a love
ly woman of proven charm and with
natural ability for the dangerous acting
which would be required ?
Mile. Mistinguett with her powers of
mobile expresMon seemed admirably
fitted for the task She had long been
famous for her abilty to assume at will
cither the innocence of an angel or the
guile of the archtemptress.
It was natural that Mile. Mistinguett
should have both fear and distaste for
the mission proposed to her. Hers was
not the detached spirituality of Jeanne
d'Arc, whose namesake she was. No,
she was too human for that. But as al
ready has been related the French espio
nage chiefs found the key to her heart.
They promised her that should she ac
cept, her beloved Maurice Chevalier
would be released from a war camp in
Spain. And that promise, i must be
said to their credit, was faithfully kept.
Mile. Mistinguett made the bargain
knowing full well that she might never
return to see its fulfillment. She knew,
too, that she might sdrvive the ordeal
under conditions that would make her
sweetheart unwiling to claim her heart
any longer Bravely, with a smile on
her lips, she agreed to undertake the
perilous mission that meant so much
to her love and her country.
Upon her acceptance, false papers
Mile. ffl B'
iHH These two widely different photographs show 8r'
tingu i l I 5 two of the many roles Mistinguett is said to Rfr
showing I have assumed in wheedling precious military
' '.'
; I
and a motor car were put at the disposal
of Mile. Mistinguett. The chauffeur of
the car formerly had been in the service
of Prince Eitel Friedrich of Prussia and
hence he was well suited for the mission.
His wife and children were held by the
French as hostages for his good be
havior. The two set out through Switzerland
and Italy on the dungerous task, the
nature of which has not yet been dis
closed'. Suffice it to say that Mile. Mis
tinguett returned alive. The rest of the
story has not reached the stage where
"now it can be told." All is shrouded
in speculation. It is among the secret
chapters of the war one which, when
it is revealed, will probably prove most
To what lengths was the pretty dancer
compelled to go to obtain the informa
tion her country needed? Just what
were the wiles she had to practice in
order to succeed so brilliantly, and whnt
was the fearful price her womanhood
had to pay? And who were the high
German officers into whose hearts she
won her way, only to trick them out of
the secrets they guarded so jealously?
Nothing can definitely be said. But
not ior nothing is a citizen of France
deemed worthy of the great distinction
of tho Legion of Honor. And Mile.
Mistinguett's admirers believe that, one-'
having Riven her word, she stopped at
nothing to gain her end. The serious
emergency that had arisen was met
through MUe. Mistinguett'fl heroic self
sacrifice. In fact, rumor has it that hail
it not been for what she did the war
might have ended in an overwhelming
German victory.
The drafting of Mile. Mistinguett into
the spy service is said to have been a
French counter move against Mata Hari
and other dangerously clever spies who
who were supplying the Germans with
the most valuable information. Shortly
ufter this, Mata Hari's activites were
ended before the smoking rifles of a
French firing squad.
An astrologer would tell you that
the stars of not. a few men who were
des-tined to prominence in France or al
ready had attained it passed under an
evil influence when the daughter of a
Dutch planter and a Javanese woman
was born in the tropic Isle of Java
The child was Mata Hari.
It was but a jest of fate that the girl
should be taken to Burma to become
one of the temple dancers and be
pledged to the celibacy of their life. The
career that was in store for her was
strangely different.
She wa only, fourteen when she
broke her vows, fled from the temple
and became the wife of a British officer,
and she was not many years older be
fore she understood the power both of
She came to know the capitals of
Europe and the rich and influential men
thereof. For a time she presided over
the magnificent menage of a German'
diplomat, but tiring of him and tho re
straint he imposed, she fled to a French
man who had been a Minister of Fi
nance. Him she left for his brother-in-law,
and the latter for a wealthy Pari
sian banker.
At the beginning of the war, she was
with the German diplomat again, and in
this way she is believed to have entered
the Kaiser s spy service. Suspected, she
was followed to a town in England
where tho tanks were secretly being
constructed to be sprung as an over
whelming surprise. Using tho potent
weapon of her chnrm just as Mile
Mistinguett is thought to have later
Ione she fascinated a young British
officer. 1 1 was not long before the se
, rel plana of the tanks were in the pos
session of the Germans.
Mata Hari was caught and tried by a
court martial. She was convicted and
Maurice Chevalier, the sweetheart Wt$3
whom Mistinguett's self-sacrifice RffiN
rescued from a prison camp MK
sentenced to face a firing squad. Th HKjt;..
reputations of not a few prominent msn
were dragged through the mire of &cB- Klej
da by the disclosures she made at her HSr1
One gray dawn, the former tempi
dancer rose to attire herself in her finet Mjftffi
gown. Accompanied by weeping nam, Mr?
she rode out through Vincennes Wooe. BBBb
Refusing to have her lovely eyas HPC
blindfolded, she cooly faced the verqfd- Km
since of the nation whose ruin she had BE
been plotting. The rifles spoke as on Biff;
and he fell. An under-offlcer rteppinjr
forward with a pistol sent still anothar
bullet into her heart. H
It was the fate of a captured woman
jpy, When they are not caught as m HH
Mile. Mistinguett's case thoy reeei- RBI
their country's medals of honor. fll

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